The Xiris Blog

Picture in a Picture from a Weld Camera!

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, March 05, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Xiris has recently added a powerful new feature to its WeldStudio™ software utility that controls and displays images from its weld cameras: the Picture in a Picture (“PIP”) feature. The PIP Feature allows for two-tone mapping algorithms to be used on different portions of the screen at the same time, one on the full screen and one on an adjustable inset window.  Each tone mapping algorithm will have its own settings to enhance key areas of interest in an associated view. 

The dual tone mapping is performed right in the camera view by using the camera’s onboard image processing capability and the image is streamed to an external device as one image. 

Screenshot of WeldStudio™ with Picture-in-Picture Mode


Window2 PIP

 

The image processing tools inside WeldStudio™ allow the operator to manipulate and measure different  features of the weld, to help make meaningful process decisions. The playback mode allows users to view and manage recorded video offline for further analysis, including the ability to slow and freeze frames, view frame by frame, or manage video transfer to an external device.

The PIP feature ensures that enhanced images can be created with better, localized contrast that improves the visibility of key regions of brighter or darker brightness in the image.  Being able to tone map two regions of interest separately allows the user to see higher contrast image details in a foreground and the background. For example, in welding applications where there is an extreme brightness range between the weld area and its background (such as in electron beam welding or high powered laser welding), a smaller inset foreground window can be placed over the welding arc or spot and be optimized for very bright light localized to that region, while the surrounding darker background can be brightened to see the weld seam, allowing heat affected zones and other darker features to be seen more clearly.

By performing the PIP feature inside the camera, fewer external PC processing resources are needed to process the resulting images. In addition, less data needs to be transmitted between the camera and a PC (lowering network traffic that can be beneficial when using multiple cameras), allowing full frame rate to be maintained with the camera at 55 fps.

Our users will have full control of the brightness settings, window size and location for the foreground inset window independently of the the settings for the background image. This feature has been implemented to work on both color and monochrome versions of the Xiris weld cameras. 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: weld inspection, manufacturing, area of interest, color imaging, weld camera system, welding education, consistent, WeldStudio, PictureInaPicture, PIP

Inspecting Metal Sheath on High Voltage Cables

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

High Voltage Cable is a multi-layer cable used for running high voltages underground or underwater.  The integrity of the cable is very important – the insulation of the cable must not deteriorate due to the high voltage power being transmitted.

Often a high-voltage cable will have a metallic shield layered over the insulation, connected to the ground and designed to equalize the dielectric stress on the insulation layer.  This metallic shield is effectively a welded tube, wrapped around the conducting cores and insulating layers of the cable and welded together as the cable is made.

 

Various High Voltage Cable Samples (courtesy: KEI Industries)

 

If the fabrication process of forming and welding the metal sheath tube is not done properly, the cable may fail its final quality specification and may require to be destroyed, a very costly prospect for the manufacturer. Using a weld inspection system such as the WI2000 system from Xiris, measurements can be made on the production line of the final welded sheath of various attributes such as Mismatch, weld Bead Height and Freezeline to help determine if the metal sheath tube is being welded correctly.

If any of those measurements begin to drift out of tolerance, an operator can be alerted to make adjustments in the input parameters to bring the process back in control avoiding any scrap production.  The result is a better quality welded sheath tube on the cable that has a better chance of meeting the final end user’s specifications.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

Follow Xiris on social media for regular updates and welding videos!

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, Tube and Pipe welding, manufacturing, tube, WI-2000p, weld camera system, consistent

Rugged, Robust, and Ready to Use - The XVC-S Sub Arc Weld Camera

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Thursday, November 01, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is a common welding process used in a variety of applications pipe and pipeline fabrication.  In many applications, pipe is tack welded together to hold the pipe in shape, then submerged arc welded from the outside using a continuous process such as on a spiral welded pipe mill, or in butt joining pipe segments using an orbital welding process.  Many of these applications have a very confined or awkward working environment that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a human to observe the weld process in a production environment.

XVC S Column and BoomAn XVC-S Mounted to a Column and Boom Robot Performing Welding and
Cladding on Large Pipes

In any such welding work environment, whether it be the confined space of a pipe welding application or a high-height welding application such as in large pressure vessel construction, operator safety is always a priority. In the welding industry, workforce demands, government regulations, changing business practices, and increasing environmental awareness are driving the manufacturing environment to be safer, healthier, and friendlier for workers. As a result, the use of camera technology is becoming more prevalent in order to alleviate some of the dangers and liabilities.

While the welding environment is particularly harsh on electronics, the Xiris XVC-S cameras for Sub-Arc welding applications have proven to be very durable and reliable in some of the toughest environments. The XVC-S cameras have been used in hot, confined spaces to provide a clear view of the submerged arc weld torch and its alignment to the weld seam, or in a post-weld application to inspect the weld as the slag comes off the weld bead. The cameras allow the operator to remotely view and manage the welding process by providing the ability to adjust the weld process real-time, ultimately reducing potential subsequent rework.  For the fabricator, this means saving time and money with less machine stops and more on-arc time.

XVC-S ViewThe View of the Sub Arc Welding Process Using an XVC-S Camera

But the benefits of the XVC-S are not just financial: since the XVC-S submerged arc weld camera allows the welding processes to be viewed remotely, operators can monitor the welding process from the comfort of a process control cabinet as the cameras are placed at the weld head.  As a result, welders are no longer required to work in cramped, uncomfortable places or dangerous heights, reducing fatigue and safety issues.

With clearly demonstrated financial benefits from cost savings and improved health and safety considerations, the business case for implementing an XVC-S camera is straightforward.  Don’t you think it’s worth looking into a camera for your sub arc business? Learn more about the XVC-S camera and download the FREE Datasheet for more details. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Topics: weld inspection, welding automation, Xiris, Sub Arc welding, pipe, XVC Weld Camera, submerged arc welding, Robotic Welding

Xiris in Shanghai, Tube China 2018

Posted by Dean Zhao on Thursday, October 18, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, Xiris had the opportunity to showcase our Weld Inspection Systems at Tube China in Shanghai. This was a four-day trade show which ran from September 26th to the 29th. Tube China has grown into Asia’s most influential tube and pipe industry event and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to thousands of leading brands. As the show has grown over the years, it has been fascinating to see the visitor interest grow as well. Participants were significantly more informed about the various technologies and were asking insightful questions as a result.

Xiris-Belwin Booth Weld-Inspection-System

The live demonstration of our laser-based 3D inspection system, the WI2000, resonated with many visitors as they could see it detect various quality issues on smaller diameter tubes. In collaboration with our Chinese distributor, Belwin Intelligent Technology Co, we are able to better accommodate our customers overseas.

If you have any questions about Xiris’ Weld Inspection Systems, or are trying to choose the right system for your process, please visit our website or contact us directly.

Topics: weld inspection, Trade Show, Tube China 2018

SPC Measurements on a Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 02:58 PM

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is the use of inspection data to determine the characteristics of a process, using techniques to find and remove abnormal variations in completed tubes.  Variable data is quantitative and is generated from actual measurements, such as the Mismatch, Bead Height, Deflection or similar measurements obtained from the Xiris WI2000 Weld Inspection system when it is placed right after the weld box on a tube mill. 

Variation is the difference between things that should be alike because they were produced under the same conditions.  Variation can be measured and groups of these measurements can be plotted as a frequency distribution, or histogram.  Since quality is a measure of conformance to specifications, poor quality results when variation falls outside the upper and lower specification limits.

2018_4_3 - SPC Data Logging Utility Display, Xiris WI2000.jpg

The SPC Data Logging Utility Display from a Xiris WI2000 system

 

SPC data can now be recorded and reviewed off line using the WI2000 measuring a number of parameters, including: 

  • Mean - the average of a group of values of a particular measurement.
  • Median -  the middle value of a group of ordered measurements.
  • Mode - the measurement occurring with the highest frequency.  This is the peak of the histogram.  In a true normal distribution, the mean, median and mode are all equal.
  • Range - the highest minus the lowest value in a set of measurement data.  This is a simple measure of the dispersion, or spread, in a set of data.
  • Standard Deviation - a measure of dispersion computed from the square root of the sum of the deviations from the mean, divided by the total frequency. 

Statistical process control uses the concept of subgroup sampling.  This is a method of data collection that considers a series of consecutive measurements together as a single group.  A typical subgroup size is five (5) measurements.  In order to smooth out the variability associated with an individual measurement, five consecutive measurements would be considered together as a representative sample. 

Xiris has implemented an SPC measurement logging capability to provide a way for fabricators to monitor their tube mills and identify abnormal variations in their completed tubes.

 

Topics: weld inspection, Tube and Pipe welding

Checking Tube Welds Before and After Scarfing

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

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The process of tube welding requires several variables to be in check for efficient and stable production and to meet the quality demands of the industry.  Mill dynamics, from setup to production, have an impact on the stability of these variables.  Measuring and monitoring these variables is the first step in controlling them and improving weld quality for tube fabricators.

In response, tube fabricators employ laser based weld inspection systems to monitor a variety of geometrical features around the weld area of the tube and to provide early warning of quality issues related to the welding and forming process.  Traditionally placed right after the weld box on a tube mill, where the majority of tube forming and weld bead measurements can be made, such systems provide the operator with an early warning of weld related process variations that could lead to quality defects.  

While most tube mill customers use the system right after the weld box where the most as-weld related information is available, some fabricators use it after scarfing to check for quality issues related to the scarfing process: does the scarfing tool cut too deeply, or not enough?  Is the tool damaged?  Is the scarf cut a consistent amount?  All these questions can be addressed by installing a weld system after scarfing.

Now, Xiris has developed a double head laser based weld inspection system that allows for one head to be placed immediately after the weld box and one head immediately after scarfing.  In this way, tube fabricators can monitor their tube production before scarfing for weld related defects; and after scarfing for potential scarf related issues.

 

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WI2000 Double Head Configuration: One Head Post Weld, One Head Post Scarf

 With a double head configuration, tube fabricators can better control their process and improve quality by monitoring the tube profile, weld bead geometry and final scarf cut, all controlled from a single system. 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Xiris, Tube and Pipe welding, scarfing, weld seam

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